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The Havre de Grace Maritime Museum
Based on 25 traveler reviews
INTERESTING MARITIME HISTORY EXHIBITS
Sep 22, 2014 by: Maurene_K from Dover, New Hampshire
The Havre de Grace Maritime Museum is adjacent to the Concord Point Lighthouse, Havre de Grace Promenade, and Tydings Park. The Havre de Grace Decoy Museum is also nearby. One can take in all these attractions from one parking space. No need to drive from place to place! There is plenty of free parking along Concord Street and Lafayette Street. Admission is free but a donation of $2.00 per person is requested. We visited this museum after visiting the lighthouse and walking on the Promenade. Before going up a flight of stairs to the main part of the museum, we began our visit in the Boat Shop at street level. The boatwright was at work on the hull of a small sailboat. The boatwright told me that outside of the channels, most of the Upper Chesapeake Bay around Havre de Grace is about chest deep. On him, that would be about 5 feet deep. The shallow depth precipitated a discussion of the gundalows, nearly flat-bottomed barge-like boats that used lateen sails and tidal currents to transport people and goods in the shallow waters of the rivers and bays near Portsmouth and Dover, NH and South Berwick, ME. Mariners in Maryland used something similar only there they called them scows. There was a model of a scow in the museum. It closely resembled a gundalow. The exhibits and a video tell the story of the area’s maritime history from the time of the Native Americans. The exhibit titled “Beyond Jamestown: Life 400 Years Ago” has a video related video that shows a reenactment of Capt. John Smith’s exploration and mapping of the Chesapeake Bay and several rivers that flow into it. They traveled the shallow waters in shallops. The video’s narrator said that his maps were perhaps the most accurate maps ever done of the area. Smith was seeking the Northwest Passage to Asia. He did establish trade with Native American settlements he encountered. The “Working on the Bay” exhibit tells the history of fishing in Chesapeake Bay. Commercial fishing was once a thriving business. But, overfishing and the construction of Conowingo Dam in the Susquehanna River contributed to dwindling stock of oysters, crab, and fish. Today, there are very few commercial fishermen. As a historian particularly interested in the Colonial Period through the War of 1812, I especially liked two timely special exhibits related to the War of 1812: 1) “Naval History In The War of 1812” recounts how the British attacked America’s major coastal cities of Washington, Baltimore and New Orleans and were met at each city by the American Navy, Army and militia forces. 2) “The Rodgers Family and The War of 1812” tells about several family members who became naval heroes in several wars and attained the ranks of Commodore and Captain. The museum also offers lectures for adults and educational programs for the youngsters. We also visited the museum’s What Knots Maritime Gift Shop for a few souvenirs. Offerings included books for children and adults, puzzles, games, stuffed animals, CD’s, jewelry, T-shirts, postcards, key rings, refrigerator magnets, and more. I got postcards and a T-shirt. We enjoyed our visit to this small but nicely done museum. We would visit again whenever we return to the Havre de Grace area. If you found this review helpful, kindly click YES below.
Jewel of a museum in Havre de Grace
Sep 03, 2014 by: Abe S from
Great little museum which is constantly being updated. Also offers many classes, concerts, lectures... Definitely worth checking out their programs. Free with donations requested. Get on their mailing list to see all there events.
Aug 07, 2014 by: jeffl499 from Alexandria, VA
The Maritime Museum features insights into the rich history of Havre de Grave as well as the exploration and settlement of the upper Chesapeake Bay. One room is dedicated to the evolution of the settlement of this area as the English began to move north from Virginia. The importance of the Bay for fishing and hunting becomes much clearer in reading the story boards. A short, but informative, account of the War of 1812 gives new insights into the attempt by Britain to reclaim its former colonies with the story of the attack on Havre de Grace fascinating. Beyond these two exhibits, there is a hodgepodge of displays that is of limited interest. No admission fee, but suggested $2.00 donation.
A Museum of the area
Jul 27, 2014 by: DaveJoseph from
This is a great spot to understand the nature of the area. The presentations are intelligent and give you a wonderful understanding of the shipping and navigation.
Only thing opened on Saturday morning
Jul 26, 2014 by: MaryBenthere from Media, Pennsylvania
Great introduction to area history. Easy access and parking. Good for a short or long tour depending on your parties energy level.
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